Queensmead: How to squander £1m public money

The aim of the work has been to give Queensmead a fresh new look ahead of some of our other regeneration plans – opening up the area to create a space that is uncluttered and more inviting to shoppers. — David Quirk, useless jobsworth, Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

It’s certainly an exciting time for Farnborough and a great opportunity for us to work with businesses and retailers to create a vibrant and modern town centre. — Peter Moyle, leader Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

An exciting time for Farnborough! What planet is this imbecile living on? Turning the town centre into a building site, laying a few paving slabs, squandering £1 million of public money, is an exciting time? Laying a few paving slabs does not create a vibrant and modern town centre.

Yes, Farnborough is uncluttered for shoppers, because there aren’t any.

Queensmead is all that is left of the awful 1960s era yuk that graces Farnborough town centre. It would not look out of place in a Soviet era town, or a run down council estate. It used to be double in length, but half the town centre was demolished for even worse architecture, in the process destroying many small businesses. Leaving behind, boarded-up shops, a Poundland and a handful of rubbish chains like tax dodging Starbucks.

The only attractive part of the town is small green area with few trees as you walk through the town. This is earmarked for an unwanted 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, that will be an ugly eyesore, though probably in keeping with the other ugly eyesores that have been erected in the town centre. Not content with destroying the open green space at Firgrove Parade, four local businesses are also to be destroyed

Not a place to visit.

This trashing of the town centre, destruction of local businesses, is jokingly called town centre regeneration. George Orwell would be proud of this use of newspeak.

£1 million of public money is to be squandered laying new paving slabs, ripping out trees and putting in new trees, a few benches and that is it. At a time of austerity, when everyone else is having to tighten their belts, seeing wages frozen or cut, this is an appalling waste of public money.

To put this one million in context, one and a half million is to be spent relaying the cobbled High Street in Guildford.

Few, apart from those who are on medication, would see this cosmetic tarting up, as in anyway revitalising a dead town centre, and certainly is not going to pull in the punters.

Everyone who passes through, or lives locally, sees this as an appallying waste of public money.

There has not even been a good job done. The slabs have been poorly laid.

Queensmead is prone to flooding during heavy rain. There used to be strip drains running down either side of the street. These have gone. The flooding was due to the failure of the council to keep the drains clean. Now there are no strip drains, just the occasionally drain in the middle of the street.

Holes have appeared in the street, as though large termites are at work. These apparently are for lights. Lights in the ground, beaming upwards, blinding passers by. Has no one heard of light pollution? A good lighting engineer designs lights that illuminate the required space, no more no less.

Currently there are no street lights. The street pitch black, the only illumination from a few shop signs. A muggers paradise.

Talking to a few kids, they said they could not see what had changed, it was still the same boring paving. They queried why the green space and trees were being destroyed. The kids also asked why does the council not consult and ask what people want. Others have pointed at the poor quality workmanship.

It is the same in Aldershot, Westgate, or WasteGate as local retailers call it, is wasting the town. There are now moves afoot to kill the Thursday market, all that now draws people into Aldershot.

There are to be celebrations in the autumn to mark this appalling waste of public money.

The work has the support of The Farnborough Society, which only shows how closely they are in bed with the council and care not about the town. They have not been supporting the fight to save the green space, to stop the destruction of local business, have failed to support the fight to save The Tumbledown Dick.

Recommendations by Mary Portas are being ignored. The conclusions of the Lord Rogers Urban Task force are being ignored. Work done by the New Economics Foundation is being ignored. Success stories from towns that still have vibrant town centres are being ignored,

It is as though the lunatics have escaped the asylum and are running the local council.

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5 Responses to “Queensmead: How to squander £1m public money”

  1. keithpp Says:

    It was very obvious that with the poor design, the flooding would be worse, and so it has proved to be.

    Two weeks ago, heavy rain, pools of water collecting in the middle, most noticeable around the trees, surface water flowing from the northern end into the centre.

    One week ago, heavy rain, a linear pond along the middle of the street.

    This is for newly laid drains, before the autumn fall of leaves (which the council fails to clear), before the drains silt up.

    Retailers are reporting a drop in footfall, that customers are not at all happy with the quality of the work, and see it is an appalling waste of public money.

    The idiot leader of the council Peter Moyle, who sees this as exciting news for Farnborough, should apologise to the people of Farnborough and resign.

  2. keithpp Says:

    As if squandering £1 million of public money was not enough (and it is rumoured to be way over budget and approaching £1.5 million), the local council is to hold a festival in October to celebrate wasting £1 million of public money.


    This morning, heavy rain, once again reports of Queensmead flooding.

  3. Hilary G Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you. The new paving in Queensmead looks just as drab, grey and dreary as the old paving. To describe is as “exciting” is ridiculous. I would guess that most people don’t even notice that it is any different than it was before. Drab. Grey. Dreary. Dull. As for the McDonald’s Premier Inn proposed developments, it is just as if we want to win the cheapest, chavviest town in Britain award. No culture, can’t get anything decent to eat anywhere and the shopping centre is awful.

  4. keithpp Says:

    You could not have put it better Hilary.

    We have a corrupt and rotten council, in bed with Big Businesses and developers, that is turning Farnborough into the cheapest, chavviest town in Britain.

    And just when you think it could not get any worse, the Farnborough Society, a sick joke as a civic society, are to hold a festival to celebrate Farnborough as the cheapest, chavviest town in Britain.


  5. keithpp Says:

    Surprise, surprise, local people unhappy how councils spend their money.

    LGA | People unhappy with how councils target spending, says research http://www.localgov.co.uk/People-unhappy-with-how-councils-target-spending-says-research/36668

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